Sale a la Venta el Concierto de Jenni Rivera a Pocos Días del Aniversario de su Muerte

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El martes salió al mercado el álbum de Jenni Rivera “1969-Siempre”, grabado en vivo en Monterrey (México) en el último concierto de la Diva de la Banda, realizado la noche anterior a su trágica muerte en accidente de avioneta.

El disco incluye un popurrí de temas norteño-banda así como “Dos botellas de mezcal”, presentado previamente como sencillo, mientras otros temas acústicos como “Que ganas de no verte nunca más”, “Porque me gusta a morir”, “Señora” y “A que no le cuentas” ofrecen el lado romántico del disco.

“Lo que ella vivió el 8 diciembre que fue un gran concierto y estaba muy feliz”, recordó en entrevista reciente con Efe Rosie Rivera, hermana de la Gran Señora y a quien ella dejó a cargo de sus negocios.

CD-DVD del último concierto de Jenni Rivera. Foto cortesía de Universal Musica.

CD-DVD del último concierto de Jenni Rivera. Foto cortesía de Universal Musica.

Nacida en Long Beach en 1969 y de padres mexicanos, Jenni Rivera decidió grabar ese concierto en contra de su costumbre, “porque normalmente no grababa si no había un plan de sacar un disco y esta vez no había un plan de grabar la Arena Monterrey para un disco o un DVD”. Así “se grabaron cuatro horas completas de ese concierto” e, incluyendo la última rueda de prensa, “en total son seis horas de grabación del 8 al 9 diciembre”, dijo entonces la hermana de la fallecida Diva de la Banda.

“Que me entierren con la banda”, “Rosita Alvarez”, “Vida prestada”, “Se les peló Baltasar”, “Clave privada” y “El moreño” son otros temas incluidos en la producción.

El disco, del sello Fonovisa/Universal Music Latin Entertainment que salió a la venta el martes, no solo en EE. UU. sino también en México, es subtitulado “En vivo desde Monterrey, Parte 1” e incluye un DVD con varias secciones como “Amor de Fans” y “Mariposa de Barrio”.

En el segmento de video “Mariposa de Barrio”, según anunció la casa discográfica, se incluye un recorrido por lugares del sur de California como algunos sectores de Long Beach, al sur de Los Ángeles, donde la cantante nació, creció y vivió.

En el DVD “Jenni de viva voz”, relata aspectos de su vida nunca antes vistos ni publicados, y que seguramente “emocionarán enormemente a todos”, anunció la empresa en un comunicado.

Además de varios sitios en internet, la producción podrá ser adquirida en la Boutique Jenni Rivera, otro sueño que acariciaba la artista antes de morir y que fue inaugurada por su familia hace menos de un mes en Panorama City, al noroeste de Los Ángeles.

Al finalizar el concierto en Monterrey, México, en la madrugada del 9 de diciembre, Jenni Rivera abordó un avión Learjet 25, acompañada de su publicista, su maquillador, su estilista y su abogado.

Luego de alcanzar una actitud de 28.800 pies, las turbinas del avión dejaron de funcionar y el aparato se precipitó en picado estrellándose pocos segundos después en una sierra de Iturbide, Nuevo León, en México, a una velocidad calculada en cerca de 900 millas.

Los familiares de las cuatro personas que trabajaban para Rivera presentaron una demanda contra Starwood Management Inc., la empresa que operaba el Learjet 25, y en la que también se incluye a Jenni Rivera Enterprises, además de la empresa propietaria del avión en el momento del accidente.

El tributo para el aniversario de su muerte se realizará el 9 de diciembre en la misma Arena Monterrey, que un año antes fuera escenario de la última presentación de la Gran Señora. Para el concierto, la familia Rivera ha invitado a una decena de artistas “que eran los favoritos de Jenni”, según comentó Rosie y quienes interpretarán los temas preferidos por la diva.

Los presentadores del evento -que han denominado “Jenni, Vive 2013”- serán los propios hijos de la artista y entre los invitados figuran La Original Banda Limón, Las Lavanderas, Los Herederos de Nuevo León, Marisela y Tito el Bambino.

Como inicio al evento que los Rivera han querido que sea una celebración en memoria de la Diva de la Banda y que será de entrada gratuita, se presentará parte del material del video de “1969-Siempre”, según informó Universal Music. Para el aniversario, según comentó Rosie, la familia invitó a “artistas que a ella le gustaban, canciones que ella celebraba y queremos así pasar ese día unidos, porque va a ser un día muy difícil para muchos de nosotros”.

Tehachapi Land ‘Well Suited’ for Vernon Energy Project

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High up in the mountains of Tehachapi in Kern County, towers are collecting data for the city of Vernon to determine whether it’s financially feasible for the industrial city to use their purchased land to produce renewable energy.

Thousands of wind turbans like the one pictured, cover the Tehachapi Mountains Kern County, adjacent to land owned by the city of Vernon.  (Photo courtesy of Fred MacFarlane)

The city hopes that by creating a renewable energy project like windmills or a solar power farm on the Kern County land known as “Fee Lands,” it will address the state mandate requiring public utilities to produce specified levels of renewable energy within a specific time frame.

Under the mandate, the city of Vernon is required by 2020 to generate 33 percent of the city’s power from renewable sources.

Surrounded by properties that have been developed into renewable energy projects, the land is “well suited for wind energy” said Vernon’s Director of Light and Power Carlos Fandino Jr. during Tuesday’s council meeting. He said the city hopes to have a project up by no later than 2018.

“While we need it now, we need to make sure we make the most prudent decision,” Fandino said.

Fee Lands was purchased by the city of Vernon in early 2010 from NextEra Energy Resources, a clean energy provider.

If approved, the city would have to first build roads to reach the site before they could begin construction on the renewable energy project, which Fandino said could take up to two years.

Fandino told the council there are a number of environmental issues the city “must tackle,” including bird kills caused by some windmills that have animal rights activist up in arms.

More importantly, for the project to even move into the construction phase, the city of Vernon will have to convince the Kern County Board of Supervisors to rezone the land from agricultural use to wind land.

The city has been collecting date for two and a half years through the Sonic Detection And Ranging (SODAR) units and met towers installed at the site to measure wind speed, temperatures and elevations of wind speeds.

“They [towers] allows us to collect the data so that we could pinpoint where the best location is for wind turbines in the area,” Fandino explained.

While there is not yet a decision on what the proposed project will look like or what it will cost, Fandino says it won’t be cheap because “we are going to need some sort of transmission line to get the power out.”

“Which path to go with will have to make the most economical sense for the city of Vernon,” he said.

Windmills cover the land adjacent to the Vernon-owned “Fee Lands”, pictured, in Kern County. (Photo courtesy of Fred MacFarlane)

Windmills cover the land adjacent to the Vernon-owned “Fee Lands”, pictured, in Kern County. (Photo courtesy of Fred MacFarlane)

As of October of this year, the city has collected data, completed environmental resource surveys, discussed permitting with Kern County and discussed compliance with various federal agencies, and had conducted field visits with city officials and department heads.

Vernon City Manager Mark Whitworth made the trip to Fee Lands and told the council he was impressed with the opportunity the city has in renewable energy projects.

“It wasn’t until you visited the site that you understand that there is 30 years of history of wind turbines up there,” Whitworth said. “There are literally thousands of these windmills in this area.”

City Finance Director William F. Fox noted the city is probably one of the only landowners who has not developed a project, but said he looks forward to the effort moving forward.

“People are successful up there in generating electricity and I know this is a very good project for the city,” Fox said.

Fandino said the next step is for the council to approve a public Request For Information (RFI), which he expects to present to the council at the next meeting.

“We [Vernon] are seeing what other technologies are available to us in the region so that we can maximize our potential with the land,” he said.

“There’s a lot of potential for the city of Vernon. Nothing has been decided at this point, we are still looking for different resources that we could put on the land in order to meet our standards.”

Obama Retoma la Campaña de Promoción de Reforma Sanitaria

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El presidente, Barack Obama, y su equipo retomaron el martes la campaña de promoción de la reforma sanitaria tras dar por resueltos definitivamente los dos meses de fallos técnicos que deslucieron el estreno de una ley plagada de obstáculos.

El mandatario aseguró el martes en Washington que “la gran mayoría de usuarios” de la web federal de contratación de seguros Healthcare.gov ya puede acceder sin problemas graves al mercado de nuevos seguros, que serán obligatorios desde finales de marzo.

Congresistas demócratas y el jefe de gabinete de la Casa Blanca, Denis McDonough, se unieron a Obama en la promoción de la única gran reforma puesta en marcha durante el primer mandato del presidente, que se ha enfrentado a una fuerte oposición republicana.

Los problemas técnicos del portal online de contratación de seguros, comparación de precios y servicios y cálculo de subsidios públicos han restado popularidad a la ley sanitaria, a la que se oponen 6 de cada diez estadounidenses, según una encuesta de final de noviembre de la cadena CNN.

La Casa Blanca se puso como límite finales de noviembre para solucionar los graves problemas técnicos de la web y Obama aseguró el martes que ya está operativa y los posibles problemas que aparezcan se solucionarán sobre la marcha.

“En solo un mes, pese a todos los problemas, alrededor de medio millón de personas en todo el país están a la espera de obtener cobertura sanitaria desde el uno de enero, algunos por primera vez”, aseguró Obama, acompañado de personas que se han beneficiado de su reforma.

El presidente, rodeado de personas que no podían costearse tratamientos y ahora tienen un plan que se lo permite, reiteró los beneficios de la reforma sanitaria, que entra en una fase crítica ya que ahora son los ciudadanos los que deben dar el paso y sumarse al plan.

El presidente dijo que antes de su reforma “pocas cosas hacían más vulnerables a las familias estadounidenses que la falta de cobertura médica”, que podía llevarlas a la bancarrota por una enfermedad o un accidente.

Asimismo, aseguró que, antes, “decenas de miles de estadounidenses” morían anualmente porque carecían de seguro médico y, gracias a la reforma, que incluye la ampliación del programa del Medicaid para los desfavorecidos, no se tendrá que “decidir entre poner comida en la mesa o llevar a los hijos al doctor”.

El mandatario dijo que la reforma sanitaria, que fue aprobada por el Congreso en 2010, “no se va a revocar” mientras él sea presidente y subrayó que su gobierno no va a “echarse para atrás” en la aplicación de la ley, pese a los contratiempos.

Con la entrada en el mercado de seguros de millones de estadounidenses, la administración Obama espera que las aseguradoras privadas puedan rebajar el precio de sus pólizas y someterse a obligaciones como la de no negar la cobertura a enfermos crónicos, algo que sucedía antes.

Por el contrario, el presidente de la Cámara de Representantes, el republicano John Boehner, dijo que la ley sanitaria “tiene fallos de fundamento” y argumentó que los estadounidenses se oponen a la ley porque está centrada en el gobierno y no da capacidad de elección a los pacientes.

Obama, en cambio, aseguró que “esta ley funciona y seguirá funcionando en el futuro, ya que proporciona seguridad financiera” a los estadounidenses.

Pese a que EE.UU. es el país de la OCDE que más dinero gasta per cápita en sanidad, unos 47 millones de estadounidenses carecen de cobertura médica o tienen coberturas muy básicas que no cubren muchos tratamientos.

Entre los problemas que intenta resolver la reforma están las deudas de los hospitales por tratamientos impagados a personas insolventes, o los precios inflados, que en algunos casos han llevado a que un solo punto de sutura pueda costar $500.

LA Council Approves Ordinance Preventing Sales of E-Cigarettes to Minors

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The Los Angeles City Council moved Wednesday to prevent the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors by expanding the city’s tobacco-vending laws to include the battery-powered smoking alternatives.

The council voted 15-0 to approve an ordinance that requires vendors to sell “emergent tobacco products” such as e-cigarettes, which allow users to inhale nicotine-laced liquids as vapor, as well as hookah pens and dissolvable products such as lollipops and lozenges, in the same way they sell tobacco products. The ordinance must be signed by the mayor before it can go into effect.

Retailers must obtain a city permit to sell tobacco products and are restricted from selling such products on the street and from mobile vending sources such as ice cream trucks and food carts where they are more accessible to young people. If the ordinance is signed by the mayor, those rules would also apply to e-cigarettes.

Self-service displays of e-cigarettes will also no longer be allowed as vendors must be present to verify the age of the purchaser.

Since they were introduced into the United States market in 2007, the use of e-cigarettes has picked up in popularity among youth, with the number of high school students who said they use the products doubling from 4.7 percent to 10 percent between 2011 and 2012, city officials said.

“Until we can establish that e-cigarettes are safe, we should err on the side of caution, and they should be regulated in Los Angeles as we regulate tobacco,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said prior to the council vote.

Council members said tobacco companies are looking to e-cigarettes as a way to attract young people and to cultivate future consumers of their traditional cigarettes. Councilman Paul Koretz, who proposed the original motion to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, called the products a “gateway to tobacco and absolutely the wrong way to go,” adding that both his parents died from tobacco-related illnesses – when he was 19 and 23 years old.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, holding up an e-cigarette he said was confiscated from a ninth grader at Hollywood High School, said the bubble gum, pina colada and similar flavoring in e-cigarettes are a “very sinister approach to a very sinister product,” noting such flavorings are no longer allowed in traditional tobacco products because they attract youthful consumers.

O’Farrell, who seconded Koretz’s motion, noted that e-cigarettes can also be used to smoke marijuana.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Jonathan Fielding called e-cigarettes a “serious health risk” and said 26 chemicals found in e-cigarette liquids are on the FDA’s established list of harmful or potentially harmful substances.

Studies on the benefits of e-cigarettes, which have been marketed as a way to wean smokers off tobacco products, are “somewhat inconclusive,” he added.

O’Farrell and Koretz, citing potential harm from the second-hand vapors from e-cigarettes, also proposed the restriction of e-cigarettes in places where tobacco smoking is also restricted, such as restaurants, public parks, playgrounds, beaches, schools, daycare centers and libraries.

More than 40 cities across California have taken similar steps and are instituting laws regulating outdoor use of e-cigarettes, city officials said.

The county’s public health department has also recommended that cities include e-cigarettes in local smoke-free policies to reduce second-hand exposure to e-cigarette vapors.

“We know that the vapor from nicotine is toxic,” O’Farrell said. “We have an obligation as a community to look out for the health and well-being of students and those around them.”

O’Farrell said he and his siblings suffer from illnesses stemming from second-hand tobacco smoke they were exposed to while growing up in a house in which smoking was a habit among his parents and grandparents, who eventually died from smoking-related illnesses.

In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette devices also contain benzene and toulene, which are volatile organic compounds; tobacco-related carcinogens; heavy metals such as nickel and arsenic; formaldehyde and acrolein, according to city officials.

City Councilman Bernard Parks, who seconded the motion, said more still needs to be done “in continuing the city’s efforts to reduce access to secondhand smoke and access to cigarettes and e-cigarettes close to schools.”

Breves de la Comunidad

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Lincoln Heights

Autoridades identificaron a las mujeres que murieron el sábado alrededor de las 12:14 a.m. Las victimas fueron identificadas como Katie Dávila, 12, Abigail Romero, 19 y Abigail Estrella, 37, dijo un investigador de la oficina del Forense del Condado de Los Ángeles.

La van GMC 2000 chocó contra un muro de concreto en la salida de Arroyo Seco en la autopista 110 N. en conexión con la 5. Las tres victimas fueron pronunciadas muertas en la escena. Cuatro personas más resultaron heridos. La portavoz del Departamento de Bomberos dijo que los heridos son dos hombres, y dos jóvenes, hombre y mujer.

 

Eagle Rock

Un anciano fue atropellado mientras cruzaba la calle en Eagle Rock, dijo un investigador de tráfico. El accidente ocurrió a las 5:50 el domingo en Eagle Rock Blvd. y Avenue 41, dijo el oficial William Brown del Departamento Central de la División de Tráfico.

El hombre fue transportado a un hospital donde fue pronunciado muerto. El chofer se detuvo en la escena y cooperó con los oficiales, Brown dijo que el conductor no vio al anciano cruzar la calle. No hubo alcohol ni drogas involucrados. La investigación continua.

 

Los Ángeles

El Departamento de Obras Públicas del Condado de Los Ángeles llevará a cabo un evento de reciclaje de aceite de motor y filtros de aceite usados gratuito, en California High School (estacionamiento Mills Avenue en Whittier), en el 9800 South Mills Avenue, el sábado 14 de diciembre de 2013, a partir de las 9 a.m. hasta la 1 p.m.

Quienes participen en el evento llevando el aceite de motor usado, serán recompensados con recipientes para aceite, recipientes para filtros de aceite, toallas de taller y embudos, mientras duren las existencias.

Se pide a los residentes que preparen apropiadamente sus artículos de reciclaje. Los filtros de aceite deben ser entregados en bolsas de plástico selladas, y el aceite usado debe ser entregado dentro de recipientes a prueba de fugas, asegurándose de que no se mezcle con ningún otro líquido, incluyendo agua.

 

Los Ángeles 

El concejo de la Ciudad de Los Ángeles aprobó tentativamente un programa piloto para permitir murales en casas residenciales de Los Ángeles, Boyle Heights y parte del Sur de Los Ángeles. Aunque a principios de año el concejo removió una década de prohibición para pintar murales en edificios comerciales y de unidades residenciales, los murales todavía están prohibidos en casas particulares.

 

Supervisors Appoint First Inspector General to Sheriff’s Department

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The Board of Supervisors formally approved the appointment of a corruption-tackling prosecutor Tuesday to oversee and monitor the Sheriff’s Department.

Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman will lead the county’s Office of Inspector General and make policy recommendations to the board on issues such as jail conditions, allegations of misconduct and the use of force by deputies.

A graduate of Yale Law School, he will be paid a salary of $204,423.

Given federal probes into jail violence and the treatment of mentally ill inmates, Huntsman would already have his hands full. A recent Los Angeles Times investigation also led supervisors to call for an immediate review of the Sheriff’s Department’s hiring practices.

When the department took over the patrol of parks and government buildings from a county police force in 2010, it hired on dozens of county police officers who lied on record, cheated on polygraph exams or had been fired or pressured to resign from other law enforcement agencies because of misconduct or poor performance.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich said Tuesday that the board made very clear that employees of the Office of Public Safety being transferred to the Sheriff’s Department must meet all department standards.

“We know many of those people in Public Safety were not qualified,” Antonovich said, but only “those who were fully qualified” were supposed to be granted transfers.

Antonovich called for a report on who defied the board’s instructions and hired the officers who didn’t make the grade.

Huntsman, expected to start work around the first of the year, told The Times he was concerned about their findings.

“The hiring of people who have not been honest is a dangerous thing to do,” Huntsman told the newspaper. “A use of force can be placed in context…. It may or may not reoccur. But dishonesty, that’s always going to be a problem.”

Establishing an Office of Inspector General was one of the recommendations made by the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence in September 2012. After months of interviews, the board announced Huntsman as their choice last week.

Huntsman’s 20 years as a Los Angeles County prosecutor include his current assignment as assistant head deputy of the Public Integrity Division of the District Attorney’s Office. He has led major public corruption investigations involving the cities of Bell and Vernon and tried more than 50 jury trials, including two related to police use of force.

No Easy Fix for DWP Billing Woes

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Department of Water and Power officials said Tuesday it may take four more months to completely fix billing problems that began in September following the $162 million overhaul of the utility’s customer information system.

DWP officials also told Los Angeles Water and Power commissioners they will boost the number of meter readers and customer service representatives in upcoming months to ensure future bills are accurate and customer service wait times — which have climbed to 30 to 40 minutes — are reduced.

About 3 percent of customers have gotten erroneous bills that were based on estimated electricity and water usage, according to DWP officials.

Some customers who signed up for auto-pay have also gotten the inaccurate bill amounts withdrawn from their accounts.

During a discussion about the utility’s solar power feed-in tariff program, Commissioner Jill Banks Barad said one customer who installed solar panels received a faulty bill, but could not get help for two days.

Barad, who said the customer was finally directed to the proper hotline handling solar power-related issues, urged DWP officials to be more nimble in dealing with inevitable customer questions regarding solar power.

DWP officials should include the specific solar power hotline number on customers’ bills, she said.

“Make it easy for them,” she said.

L.A. Council Approves Murals on Homes

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The Los Angeles City Council tentatively approved a pilot program Tuesday to allow murals on single-family homes in northeast Los Angeles, Boyle Heights and parts of South Los Angeles.

While the council earlier this year lifted a decade-long ban on murals for commercial buildings and multi-unit residential buildings, murals are still prohibited on single-family homes.

The council voted 14-1 to allow murals on single-family residential buildings in the 1st, 9th and 14th Council Districts. Because of a dissenting vote by Councilman Bernard Parks, who represents the 8th district, the pilot program ordinance will return for a second reading and vote.

R&B singer Chris Brown had a mural painted on a wall outside his home in the Hollywood Hills this past summer. But the mural, featuring brightly colored characters about 8-feet-tall, caused such a stir among neighbors that Brown, who challenged the city ordinance banning residential murals, eventually had the artwork painted over.

In addition to the pilot program, the amended ordinance also would allow murals on roll-down security doors on commercial and industrial buildings.

While residents in some parts of Los Angeles expressed opposition to murals on homes, 9th district City Councilman Curren Price Jr. said people in his district were receptive to murals on homes.

Price asked for his district to be included in the pilot program, which initially was to apply only to the 1st and 14th districts. He said residents in the 9th district are working with “local nonprofits and residents to reclaim and beautify our streets and murals.”

 

AQMD to Take Public Input Over Proposed Exide Closure

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Air quality and local officials are urging residents to testify at a hearing on the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) petition to shut down Vernon-based lead-acid battery recycler Exide Technologies for failing to “control gaseous pollutant emissions including arsenic.”

Exide Technologies is located at 2700 S. Indiana St. in Vernon. (EGP Archive)

Exide Technologies is located at 2700 S. Indiana St. in Vernon. (EGP Archive)

The meeting will be held Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cal State Los Angeles. There is a free shuttle service to the hearing from some of the locally more impacted communities: City of Commerce, East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights and Huntington Park.

The Dec. 14 hearing marks the start of the abatement proceedings, with a second hearing scheduled to take place in January. Representatives from SCAQMD and Exide Technologies will present their case before AQMD’s Hearing Board, an independent administrative law panel that will decide whether the plant should remain open.

Sen. Kevin De Leon, who previously stated closure is “long overdue,” has also urged the Board to take “immediate action” to shut down the battery recycler.

“Exide has flagrantly and repeatedly put the public’s health in danger,” De Leon told EGP. “Shut the plant down. South Coast Air Quality Management District has made exactly the right decision to move in this direction and should follow through with it.”

Commerce Councilmember Ivan Altamirano told EGP by email that he plans to attend the hearing and said he is encouraging Commerce residents to also attend. In addition to keeping residents updated on Exide-related news through its website, social media pages and monthly newsletter, the city is also developing a “Frequently Asked Questions” flyer about Exide to make available to residents.

“While we do not know the extent of the impacts of Exide’s operations, according to the AQMD the release of these highly toxic metals from the Exide facility has imposed a significant health risk to our residents and that concerns us greatly,” said Altamirano.

Denise Garzaro, SCAQMD senior deputy clerk told EGP the board decided to hold its first meeting in the community to ensure that residents living in areas near Exide have an opportunity to voice any concerns or comments.

“We’re anticipating a lot of interest,” Garzaro said. “We’re making room for hundreds [of people].”

Free parking will be provided on campus and a free shuttle service will take residents to and from the hearing throughout the day. SCAQMD will provide the free hourly bus shuttles, the first of which will depart beginning at 8 a.m. from Hollenbeck Middle School located on 2510 East Sixth St in Los Angeles; the Salt Lake Recreation Center located on 3401 E. Florence Ave. in Huntington Park; the Maravilla Community Center located at 4919 Cesar Chavez Ave in East Los Angeles and from Commerce City Hall, located at 2535 Commerce Way.

Although the meeting is scheduled to run between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., opening statements by AQMD and Exide will only take place at the beginning of the hearing. The floor will then open for public comment and adjourn at the end of testimony, or no later than 4 p.m.

Boyle Heights resident Teresa Marquez told EGP Wednesday that “It is so sad” that even though residents like her have said over and over again that they want Exide closed because “proven facts” show it is an “imminent danger” to residents in the densely populated area, air quality officials still need to hear more before they will take action. “What more can we take to the hearing, unless we spoke and no one was paying attention.”

On Oct. 18, the air quality agency filed to temporarily shut down all lead smelting operations at the Exide plant because air monitoring reports showed again found emissions of cancer causing chemicals that exceed state safety standards.

This is not the first time the battery recycler has faced violations or threats of closure. Earlier this year the California Dept. of Toxic Substance Control issued a shut down order after a health risk assessment showed emissions from the facility were causing unacceptable health risk to communities in Southeast Los Angeles County, as many as 250,000 people.

The plant was able to reopen after a judge overturned the closure stating that the company had addressed air emission concerns and demonstrated sufficient progress.

The reopening of the plant prompted further outcry from local residents and stakeholders from Boyle Heights, Maywood and Huntington Park who have continued to pressure AQMD and officials from the DTSC to permanently shut down the facility over concerns that it is unable to mitigate the health risk to people who live and work in nearby communities.

Typically these types of hearings take only one day, says Garzaro, but the public’s highly publicized criticism and interest in Exide have caused the Board to take a little longer  with the case to get a better understanding and to provide “accessibility for people who have been registering their concerns.”

“There’s a lot of unknowns,” said Garzaro, referring to the number of people who may testify. “Ultimately its up to the district [AQMD] to make their case.”

Future testimony will occur throughout the month at the district headquarters in Diamond Bar, during which both sides will offer witnesses and testimony related to the facility. The Board also plans on holding another public hearing, in the community, says Garzaro, in early 2014 before making a final decision.

 

For more information contact the Clerk of the Board at (909) 396-2500 or email clerkofboard@aqmd.gov.

 

Public Hearing on Exide at CSULA

 When: Saturday, Dec. 14th, 9am-4pmWhere: Cal State Los Angeles

Golden EagleBuilding, Third Floor

5151 State University Dr.  Los Angeles 90032

Parking: Free parking in Lot C

Shuttle: Hollenbeck Middle School—2510 East Sixth St Los Angeles 90023

Salt Lake Recreation Center—3401 E. Florence Ave. Huntington Park 90255

Maravilla Community Center—4919 Cesar Chavez Ave. Los Angeles 90022

Commerce City Hall— 2535 Commerce Way Commerce 90048

 

Failing to Prove Students Are Poor, Could Cause Harm

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Reaching poor families with information important to their needs and getting them to respond to information is probably one of the hardest things to do.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is in the midst of trying to get the parents of low-income students in the district to complete and submit a one page form listing the number of people in their household and the family’s annual income.

The District is trying to comply with new state rules demanding financial verification for every one of its low-income pupils. At stake is $200 million in state lunch subsidies to the LAUSD for students from impoverished families. The new rule was dropped on school districts across the state just before the start of the current school year. According to LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, the state never sought input from the Districts that are now charged with the difficult and expensive task of complying with the new regulation.

For many of the District’s poorest families, the meal they receive at school is their main nourishment, an important component of being ready to learn and succeeding academically, a benefit to us all.

The reality, however, is that poor families don’t always have a reliable way of keeping track of their records. Language and cultural barriers and the fact that many low-income people move frequently, can make the job of complying that much more difficult.

These families are not usually users of social media or have access to the web based notification systems that many of us take for granted.

The LAUSD must overcome these obstacles to be successful in this effort. The District has to date received only 22 percent of the forms they need to prove the financial status of its large number of students who live at or below the poverty level.

The forms were distributed in November to 138,000 students who attend 380 schools in low-income areas. We wonder how many of those forms even got to students’ homes, since students often lose or forget letters from their schools. The District says it is employing a multi-faceted approach to its outreach that goes beyond the usual note home to Mon or Dad and includes phone calls and knocking on doors.

It is important that the LAUSD comply in a timely manner, though we feel that that those who insist on making poor families jump through hoops could much more easily get the information for certain communities from U.S. Census data.

Should the district not be able to comply with this requirement it will be poor students who are victimized for very little reason, since we don’t see students in better financial circumstances going to these schools just to get a free meal.

We urge friends, family and neighbors of people with school-aged children who may fall into this category to ask them if they have filled out and returned the form, and to explain what failure to do so could mean to their child.

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